Saturday, February 2, 2019

Reading? And a quick update....

OK, is anyone reading this blog? Likely not, for two reasons:

First, and most important, my inconsistent (an understatement) posting. Simply, I am not disciplined or inspired enough, and I'm distracted by many other activities that tug at my time and attention. Hey, retirement keeps us busy!

And, two, my incentive to post is a bit low (compared to other activities, including other writing projects detailed below) because I don't think anyone's watching.

If I'm wrong, please let me know. It will help inspire me. (And, yes, despite my earlier pledge -- no beer if no posting -- I am drinking [wonderfully good] beers. Great variety here in California.)

Now for the update:

We aren't doing "around the world" (as detailed in previous post). We decided that, given our ages, we didn't want to be living out of a suitcase for a month or more, almost always on the move. We wanted to do this "slow." So, we're doing Uganda in late June/early July. Then coming home. We are committed, if finances are agreeable, to "do" China in the fall. This will make both trips more enjoyable and a lot less hectic for two old folks. While we're both quite healthy and active, especially for our age group (I'll be 76 in June, just before heading to Uganda, and Joyce turns 70 in October), we don't move quite as fast as in the past.

As for everything else, including promises to write about folks, including David Sendler, an early major and important influence in my career choice, those will be fulfilled, eventually. I am working on two writing projects: a novel that may never see the light of day, but is wonderfully fun to write, and my non-fiction effort, "In Search of Earl," that will illuminate people who've played significant roles, good and bad, in my life and who have helped shaped, immeasurably, the person whom you know.

Stay tuned.

P.S.: Again, if you're reading this, please let me know. Comments, positive or negative, are encouraged and appreciated.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Beer, and going 'round the world

I need a beer, so I’m keeping my promise by posting.

OK, we’re planning to head back to Africa in mid-June (and I’ll give a lot more details in upcoming blogs, but I really do want that beer, and the “blog muse” just isn’t kicking in). As part of it, we’re circling the entire globe!

As to Uganda, my former driver, Kabagambe Swamadu, known simply as Kabs (pronounced like the Chicago baseball team [and, no, not the White Sox]) has invited us back because . . .

He was more than a driver. He kept me safe. And we became really close friends with him and his entire family, both in Kampala and upcountry.

He, not surprisingly, has become quite successful, working with what I believe is an agriculture NGO doing good deeds for his village and surrounding area. Plus, he’s planning to run for Parliament, and by all accounts has a good chance of winning.

He’s a first-rate human being.

We love him, and he loves us.

So, Kabs invited us to see what he’s doing in upcountry Uganda, and we couldn’t say no.

We’re excited because of that, and we'll see lots of other people who were important to us, but also because this trip will take us around the world.

After Kampala, I’m keeping 47-year-old promise to my lovely bride: Taking her Cape Town, South Africa.

Right after we decided to get married, good friend Bob Menaker asked if I’d like to go to Africa with him. “There’s a freighter leaving Booklyn for Cape Town, and we should be on it.” So, Joyce says “go,” knowing that I wanted to – go, as well as marry her. So, I went. Six months later, after touring southern and east Africa, and then spending time picking apples on a kibbutz on the Golan Heights in Israel, I came home and we married. Still are, gleefully!

And still doing Africa, and now “around the world.”

The flight from Cape Town, you see, routes us through Hong Kong on the way back to L.A. So, we said, why not spend some time seeing old friends in China – specifically Li Hong Hai in Shenzhen (just outside Hong Kong), Li Rong and family in Guangzhou, and Li Shuo in Beijing. The three “Li’s” were each selected by me to come to KU (and stay with us in our home) as part of the grant promoting journalistic relationships between the U.S. and east Asia. We obviously became close to them during their stays in Kansas (having coffee most mornings in your pajamas will do that), as well as visits we’ve made years ago to visit them in China.

So, ‘round the world it is with flights from L.A. to someplace in Europe or the Middle East for the plane to Kampala, then the flight to Cape Town, then that Cape Town-Hong Kong-L.A. jaunt. So, ‘round the world in is over 30 days or so. Cool.

Next: Either about reconnecting with David Sendler, former editor of TV Guide and my editor at my first full-time journalism gig, The STRAC Paraglide at Ft. Bragg, N.C., whom we had dinner with recently in Florida, or more about Kabs. Or whatever, depending on my thoughts and how much I need a good beer. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Promise? I promise!

It’s been far too long, and I know I’ve made this promise (unkept) before. This time, I mean it: I will post at least one each week. If I don’t, I’ve promised myself that I won’t/can’t have a beer until I do post.  (And you know that will be strong motivation, though I’ll likely cheat a bit by drinking a good IPA in the process of posting.)

And, yes, much has happened since my last post some months after our return from East Africa and well before our 2017 move to California (which has proved to be a good one and, thankfully, you’ll be happy to note, we’re not in a fire zone).  Before imparting some exciting news (to be detailed in the next posting about an upcoming planned return to Uganda), I think we should answer this:

Why California, one of the worst states to retire to? And why Clovis, a relatively small town in the semi-arid San Joaquin Valley?

We had decided to move “west,” ultimately settling on California after checking out Nevada, Utah and Arizona, simply to be closer grandchildren, specifically that our son, Ian, and his lovely wife, Andrea, planned having some. (They have since complied, twice.)

We decided on the central valley because the beach was too expensive (and, turns out, too “fire prone”). Same for the mountains. We wanted to be near, not “in,” a big city. So, we checked out every smaller town around Sacramento, Fresno and Bakersfield, the central valley’s big three.

We looked at:

·         Housing prices (Fresno/Clovis is/was the only area where properties were at “below value”).
·         Universities for culture and sports (Fresno State won the College World Series 10 years ago, and you know we love college baseball).
·         Crime rates (Clovis's is among the lowest in the state).
·         Local schools (though we don’t have kids; our thinking was that if a community spends money on schools, its residents “care” about quality of life, and Clovis has what some say is the best school system in the state).
·         A nearby airport (Fresno Yosemite International modern and close, only eight minutes away).
·         A nice downtown (“Old Town” Clovis is quaint and accessible with a ton of activities, including a year-round farmer’s market, along with good restaurants and micro-breweries throughout the town).
·         Oh, and a Costco (and those who know us know that's important, and Clovis, we happily discovered, has one, and next door Fresno has two).

It's 4 o'clock, so "wine time" (IPA for me) in Clovis. Cheers!
In February 2017, we visited for three days, driving all over and talking to lots of folks. The town was clean and litter-free (there’s a tax to keep it that way) with tree-lined boulevards. People were nice.  Good restaurants. Nice library facilities with a new one on the way. An inviting, walk-able downtown with a year-round farmer’s market. Clovis is "Gateway to the Sierras," so snow is just 30 or so minutes away most months. All was just as we’d imagined. Even better. We were sold.

Back in Kansas, we checked out existing homes online and, once our house sold, which went quickly, we jumped in the car and headed to Clovis to find a house. All the ones we’d put on our list just the day before were gone by the time we got there. So, we  decided to build.

And we’re so happy we did.

All new with state-of-the-art everything, including solar power (which means no electric bill). It’s one-level (no stairs, which is nice for us “old folks”) with “California landscaping” (all drought-resistant plants) and no grass to cut! (First time in my married life that I haven’t owned a lawn mower). And we put in a swim/spa (rather than a high-maintenance pool). I swim; Joyce “spas.”

So, all is fine. We’re loving it here. And we see the kids and grandkids quite often. We do miss friends (but several have visited and others are planning to).  We also miss “weather”. The song is true: “It never rains in California.”

Ah, but there’s that swim-spa, so we do get wet just about every day. Happily.

Next: Back to Uganda . . . and beyond!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Heeee's REALLY back....but, oh, now, beer-less!

Out of Africa: Sorry for the long delay, but there are good reasons, which I'll detail here soon. I just can't be as candid as I'd like at the moment because of some lingering and delicate issues involving our time in Uganda.

As most of you know, we are back home in Kansas. I was true to my word in the last posting back in February. I truly did love my job. I told everyone: "I loved going to work every day."

But I also said, from day one, that I would stay only if I could be assured of two things:

1. I was confident that we could succeed in our mission to make the Monitor operation (national newspaper and two radio stations) truly independent.

And 2., we would do that through quality journalism employing only the highest standards.

Despite the many good folks in my newsroom who were dedicated to that, under the most trying of conditions, there were others who, sadly, were not. They were there, in my opinion, to further their own agendas, not the one desired by His Highness, the Aga Khan, and me. In late February, shortly after my meeting with the Aga Khan, it became clear that His Highness would not − or could not − do what I felt was necessary to achieve that. Given that and my exhausting schedule that had taken its toll, Joyce and I decided to come home.

More on that later, as well as what we've been doing, and what our plans are....and we have many.

Number One on the list: Enjoy retirement! And golf. (As I've lamented to many, this is the biggest indicator of how hard I'd been working: Uganda has perfect golf weather every day − 65 to 85 degrees − and I didn't get to play golf once in our 13 months in Uganda!)

Beer bust! I don't wish to trivialize health issues, but I got bad news from my doctor yesterday, and everyone who knows me knows that these are the two words I never wanted to hear: "No beer!" 

Since my bout with shingles (get the shot!), I have had digestive issues. Nexium worked for a bit, but then lost its effectiveness. So, yesterday, our good doctor said:

1. Let's do a scope down your throat (gag!, but that's not scheduled until mid-January) to see if there's something going on.

2. Double the dosage of Nexium.

And 3. (and he knows the weight of the two words that followed because he's been my doctor for 20 years, and we've had the "good beer versus bad beer" discussion): Eliminate carbonated beverages, so "no beer!"

Oh, well, there's wine during the week and martinis on Sundays. But I will miss that good IPA.

My sincere wish to all: Good spirits and good health.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Heeeeee's baaaack! And lovin' it.

I love my job. Finally.

Joyce and I hit the one-year anniversary mark of landing in Kampala on Sunday. We'd planned to celebrate by going to the same restaurant we went to on our arrival a year ago Sunday -- a revolving restaurant high above the Golf Course Hotel that offers a panoramic view of Kampala along with some really good food (and a pretty good martini).

Those plans were dashed when I got a call from Mahmood Ahmed, the Aga Khan's representative for this part of the world and someone who's become a good friend. We had dinner with him and his wife in London to help celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary.

Mahmood had called Sunday to ask if I could have dinner with him because he had something important to discuss.

The issue: I was to meet with the Aga Khan on Wednesday to discuss the Daily Monitor -- what we're doing and, more importantly, where we needed to go and what we needed to do to get there.

Aga Khan
That two-hour meeting, including some other folks from the Monitor Publications Board, came to be on Wednesday afternoon, with me sitting directly to His Highness's right.

If you don't know much about the Aga Khan, you should -- if you care anything about trying to make the world a better place. He was a 20-year-old student at Harvard when tapped to lead the Ismaili Muslim nation, and he's been at it for almost 60 years. He started the Daily Nation in Nairobi about 50 years ago, and it remains one of the best, if not the best, news operations in Africa. He is the majority owner of my media operation, Monitor Publications Ltd.

Media are not his main contribution, he just thinks strong and independent media are important to any country's development. His bigger concerns are education (Joyce was volunteering at one of his schools) and, well, social programs and development at all levels He has dedicated his life to making countries like Kenya, Uganda, Afghanistan and many other spots in the world much better places to live.

I've been a fan since first coming to Africa in 1969. Next to Mandela (and, maybe Julius K. Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, who translated Shakespeare into kiSwahili in addition to being one of Africa's greatest leaders), the Aga Khan is the guy I had wanted to meet and to thank.

After the discussion on how we needed to proceed to become the best at what we can do (and not always sunshine and roses), I had the opportunity to do just that. The only disappointment was that I did not have an opportunity to get a photo with him (which I would have put next to my "Mandela and me" photo I'm showing to everyone in Uganda).

As for loving my job, I couldn't say that two months ago. But I can say it now.

And sorry for the silence, but it's because I now love my job that I can write this with some confidence...though still not with the candor I'd like.

But the good news is that I do love my job, in great part because I have a new leadership team in place that is dedicated to our mission.

And I genuinely like and respect  (most) of the people I'm working with.

We have an acting managing director (publisher), Stephen Gitagama, who's "real" job is Chief Financial Officer of our parent in Nairobi, the Nation Media Group. He and I have an absolutely great working relationship because we share the same vision. A new MD is scheduled to come in soon; here's hoping we have the same relationship because we're finally making the progress we've been hoping to make on all fronts.

So, life is good. And there's hope it will continue.

Stay tuned.

P.S.: Joyce and I are heading to Tampa, Fla., on March 11 to be there for my mom's 100th birthday on Friday, March 13. Then we head to Lawrence (mainly for doctor's appointments and to do taxes), then we head to Colorado for a week -- I'm participating in the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder -- then we head back to Kampala. Oh, and while in Lawrence, I'm doing Brenna Hawley and Dennis Craig's wedding. Oh, and if weather is good, at least one round of golf. And, of course, some Free State beer.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Four weddings, London and Boulder...

Three months of silence, and for that I apologize, but there are good reasons. As for the reasons, I'll leave those for a later post (but -- here's a teaser -- a hint can be found below) or in person, over a good beer.

Andrea and Ian with me officiating at their wedding on Oct. 25.
I began writing this to chronicle three weddings -- on three successive Saturdays: the first on Saturday, Oct. 25, of our wonderful son, Ian, to the equally wonderful Andrea Garcia aboard a big boat on San Francisco Bay (with the rehearsal dinner at my favorite SF eatery, The Stinking Rose, a garlic restaurant, where we hooked up with good friends Jerry and Valerie Rollison from Montana, Bill and Mary Garrison from North Carolina and, of course, Ian's sister, Jennifer, and grandson Adam); the second on the following Saturday at ("Yippee!") Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City with an Africa connection (former student Jack Weinstein and his lovely bride had just returned from two years in Swaziland), and the third shortly after our return to Uganda of two wonderful journalists who work at the Daily Monitor.

But this posting will concentrate on another wedding almost 43 years ago. A warning to anyone living in London: We've decided to spend our 43rd wedding anniversary in London. We'd like to see all we know there, as well as getting tips on what to see (and avoid). We arrive Dec. 10 and leave Dec. 16.

The latest chapter in this story began in September when Joyce and I unexpectedly (and somewhat stealthily) left Kampala for Lawrence (for reasons I will detail at some point when I've ultimately left this part of the world, but the issues were and are serious, which are underscored by this comment from the leadership of the Nation Media Group's operations in Tanzania at a meeting in Nairobi: When they found out who I was, the leader of the group said, "Oh, you're the guy ruffling feathers!" He was being euphemistic.)

After sneaking out of Uganda, I returned a week later, leaving Joyce in Lawrence to tend to things at home in Kansas. That resulted in something Joyce and I decided will never happen again: being separated. The three-plus weeks until my return in mid-October was the longest separation from each other in our almost 43 years of marriage. It was tougher than either of us had imagined. Chats, every day without fail, on Skype helped, but it simply wasn't good enough. We decided we depend -- and love -- each other too much to endure that long a time apart ever again. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was the distance (8,000 miles), the time difference (8 hours at the time), her being comfortably at home and me in a hotel (nice, but...) in a land far away with tumultuous, often disruptive, demands at work, and our ages (being in a routine at this point of our lives), but nevertheless we came to a decision: never again.

Gratefully, the separation came to an end on Oct. 17, when, on that Friday (shortly after midnight), I boarded British Air (a wholly unpleasant flying experience, BTW, the worse so far from Africa) for the flight home to reunite with Joyce.

I arrived late afternoon the same day (thanks to the 8-hour differential at the time). We drove home, ordered Tad's Pizza (supreme, of course; Ugandan pizza is OK, but not great), immediately drank some good IPA (which is absent in Uganda, as noted in earlier posts), and got some well-needed sleep (because I don't sleep on airplanes, unlike Joyce who's snoring before takeoff: "Ahh, a 12-hour nap.").

The next day, we ran some errands and greeted a few folks, including Brenna Hawley, whose wedding to Dennis I'll be officiating in March, before packing to catch the just-before-midnight departure from downtown Lawrence for the two-day relaxing ride (in a sleeper Roomette) on Amtrak to LA and, ultimately, San Jose for the big event the following Saturday: Ian and Andrea's wedding.

After a week of (for the most part) taking it easy, wedding day came -- with some hitches. When San Francisco played it's way into the unlikely pairing with the Kansas City Royals for the World Series, it caused a bit of a problem. Ian and Andrea had booked their wedding on a rather large boat/ship that would cruise San Francisco Bay. Unfortunately, the dock from which it was to depart was immediately next to the stadium where Game Four of the World Series was to be played. Booked months earlier, Ian and Andrea had no idea that the World Series would be playing that night. In fact, had the National League won the All-Star Game instead of the American League, the game that night would have been played in Kansas City, not San Francisco. (C'mon National can't win even though you make their pitcher go to bat.)

So, two things: The point of departure had to be switched to across the Bay to Alameda, and we had to hire a bus to transport all the good folks who'd already committed to staying at hotels in downtown S.F.

Despite the World Series, the wedding went well (with excellent officiating, if I do say so myself, but endorsed by the wedding photog who said it was the best ever though he likely says that to everyone), and the cruise of the Bay was great, too, though we knew SF was winning because we were on the bay right outside the stadium where we could hear the cheers of delight as SF swamped KC that night.

The happy couple (Joyce and I) left the next day, another wonderful two-night trip by Amtrak (luxury bus to Santa Barbara, train from there to LA, then a larger bedroom suite on Amtrak for the trip back to Lawrence). Ian and Andrea left shortly thereafter for an 8-day cruise in the Caribbean.

So, what's this got to do with London? Well, Joyce and I were looking for a place to go for either our anniversary or Christmas, and we just sort of settled on London -- with a push from a Monitor board member and good friend who'll be there then.

So, London it is. And the journey there that began almost 43 years ago had, as with most relationships, it's ups and its downs, but for us mostly ups -- even joy -- with every twist and turn, including the challenging one we're experiencing now.

As for Uganda, still ruffling feathers, so not sure how long folks will endure that. But we will persist.

One thing's for certain. Feather or no feathers, ruffled or not, whether filled with ups or downs, Joyce and I won't be 8,000, 800 or even 80 miles apart for that long again.

P.S.: The folks at the University of Colorado host something called Conference on World Affairs each year, something they've been doing since 1948. The list of folks who've been invited and attended, over the years is, well, impressive. Eleanor Roosevelt, Molly Ivins, Norman Cousins, Roger Ebert, Joe Biden. The list goes on. Can't quite figure why -- other than good friend and former colleague Jeff Browne who teaches there laying it on thick about me -- but they've invited me to participate. So, Joyce (of course) and I will be in Boulder on April 6 for the week interacting with a bunch of folks a lot smarter than I. But it should be fun. And, yes, I'll bring my golf clubs, Jeff, who, perhaps, put my name forward because he needed someone to beat at golf, something he always does.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Catchin' up...

It's been more than a month since my last post, so here are some short takes on what's been happening (and, perhaps, reasons for the delay) -- everything from the (promised) news about the "Bate's Motel" to boda-boda drivers, celebrations and, the best news, a good beer. (And forgive wordiness, etc. -- I am doing this quickly to get it done.)

Bate's Motel: "He has a gun," I said, calmly, in an effort to soothe fears.

Context is everything, and for our guest on our trip upcountry it was anything but.

"I can't sleep alone," was the immediate retort.

I had said what I said to allay any fears about the really reasonably-priced hotel we were forced into because of our later-than-expected arrival to the motel, found after a long search (in both time and distance), following our visit to Murchison Falls National Park. Along the way, we had picked up a park guide, a genial fellow named Jim, who then tagged along with us to the hotel (looking for a free night's stay).

He was the one with the gun. (Well, he is an Ugandan wildlife officer, and a lot of people here carry guns.)

Despite my assurances that having someone in uniform with a gun outside your motel room was a comforting sight, it was no consolation to our guest, who had images of the Bate's Motel and, instead of a knife in the shower, it would be a wildlife official who had "hitchhiked" onto our party who would sneak in and "pow, pow" -- that's all folks!

We all awoke the next morning, safe and sound -- with Jim and his gun still in tow.

Mzee 1, boda-boda driver 0: Score one for the old guy, me, the "mzee," a term of reverence reserved for old guys in East Africa.

Joyce and I were stuck in traffic in downtown Kampala when the driver of a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) swept by in front of us and clipped our front bumper, tearing it (the cover) pretty much completely off.

He didn't stop (not unusual), but it pissed me off. Even my "I hate anything violent" wife (to the point she won't watch violent movies) yelled: "Get him" as I took off in our Rav4, weaving through traffic, including the wrong way (right side) of the packed street. After about 100 meters, the fleeing boda-boda got blocked by a jam, so I screeched to a halt about 20 meters short, jumped out, ran up to the driver, a tall man in his early 30s, grabbed him by his jacket and yanked him off. (His passenger jumped off and fled the scene.)

All this attracted a crowd, which thankfully was on my side. I yelled, "I want the police," and several of the bystanders pointed to a police shack a short way up the street.

With a firm hold on his jacket, I dragged the offender to the police, with a couple of folks in the crowd rolling his boda-boda behind us.

I kept telling the guy: "You should have stopped, and I wouldn't have been mad" (something I kept telling him during the entire adventure).

Of course, he didn't stop because he likely didn't have insurance and no ability to pay.

While we chatted with the police, a young man came up with a few tools and some screws. He began putting the bumper cover (which had come completely off during my chase) back into its proper place.

About an hour later, the job was done, as was the gathering of information, during which the traffic cop asked me a bunch of questions, including my age.

"71," I replied.

"Uh, how old?" he asked.


He gave me a quizzical, startled and surprised look.

"Well, he just pissed me off," I said.

He seemed then to accept that, though his look did not change.

I gave the guy who repaired our bumper 20,000 shillings (about $7.50), scolded the boda-boda driver once more and, after about an hour from initial impact until bumper repaired, went merrily on our way.

The next morning, when I told Alex Asiimwe, the managing director of our operation, about it, he said: "Don't do that!"

I was lucky the crowd was on my side, he said.

"But," I replied, "he pissed me off."

He had the same look as the cop.

Weddings: We went to our first Ugandan wedding (Muslim) last Saturday, and we're going to another (Christian) today.

Today's, I'm sure, will be wonderful (for one of my favorite folks at the Monitor, a young, talented reporter with young, talented copy editor -- called sub-editor here).

Last Saturday was a five-hour affair, but worth every minute. A beautiful bride, two beautiful children and a great groom. Oh, and great food and great conversation with new friendships made.

The bride was Aidah Nalubega, officially my administrative assistant, but in reality my "boss." She is smart, beautiful and dedicated -- and, perhaps, the most important person to any successes I might enjoy here. She is helpful at every turn (and, if I have my way, she'll be playing even more important newsroom roles soon).

Our visitors in June (Sarah and Chris and Lauren) know Aidah, so they can confirm.

I tell folks that I always cry at weddings, and this was no exception. I did when she first came out in her beautiful gown (not white, but in beautiful African colors), just one of three beautiful gowns she wore during the ceremony. And, again, when I was asked to speak to the large crowd about what Aidah meant to me (and to Joyce).

Joyce and I, who were seated up front with family, were honored and privileged to have been invited.

She and her husband, "W," have been together for 12 years and have two beautiful children. We wish them many, many more years of happiness.

That day will be with us forever.

Now, in a bit, Joyce and I have to get ready for today's wedding, and tomorrow we've been invited to a birthday party for one of our young newsroom editors.

Moments like these make this often-trying adventure all worthwhile.

Beer: I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- the beer in Uganda is boring. Just Pilsners, lagers and stout. Nothing with distinct flavor or bite. Just "Budweiser" to me (and you all know that I NEVER drink "Bud").

Well, the beer gods must have taken notice: A micro-brewery has opened! And just down the hill from us! (Yippee!!!)

As of now, only two beers with four planned. One on tap now is a Pilsner (better than the ones mass-produced here, but still...); the other is an amber ale that is WONDERFUL! Has a smoky aftertaste, much like a Scotch ale. Not an IPA, but (if they can get the proper hops), the owners have promised to try to make some.

I am happy. Found the place last Sunday, and we've already been there three times (and we'll be there again on Sunday).

We talked about getting growlers (so I can bring some to the apartment so I can sip it while looking at the Kampala skyline from our aerie). They said they had plans for that, but were having trouble getting them. I said that I am going to bring one back with me from the States in October. They said, "Good!"

So all is well (better) here in Uganda.

Oh, Yasigi is the goddess of beer in Mali!


Promise: And, finally, a promise to be more diligent in posting to this blog. Though (and Sarah and Chris and Lauren likely understand), I am working hard, and the challenges here are much more profound, at every level, than I had anticipated. So, be patient, but feel free to goad (a la Jonathan Kealing).

And, again, cheers...time to head to the wedding and, perhaps, that good amber ale after the festivities.

P.S.: Oh, had to get new tires for the Rav4. The brand is called Achilles. Hmmm, not very comforting, from my point of view, if you think "heel."

P.P.S.: I will post pictures of wedding, likely tomorrow. Gotta run to another wedding.